Statements by Meglena Kuneva during the European Savings Bank Group (ESBG) Conference "Retail Banking in Europe - The Way Forward"
There are widespread problems with the way banks inform and advise their customers according to a European Commission report on retail financial service published on 22 September 2009.
Specific problems include information which in many cases is difficult to understand, opaque bank fees, problems with advice and low levels of switching. The report describes the price structures of current accounts as 'very opaque, making it almost impossible for consumers to know how much they are paying and to compare different offers'. For 66% of banks surveyed, bank fees were so unclear that experts compiling the report needed additional explanatory contacts with the bank to find the real costs of an account. Austria, France, Italy and Spain score poorly on transparency and are among the most expensive countries for banking accounts. The EU market is fragmented depriving consumers of the advantage of an EU Internal Market. Only 9% of EU consumers switched current accounts for the two years 2007-2008.
Meglena Kuneva, Member of the EC in charge of Consumer Protection, spoke about that on 22 September 2009 at the Hotel Marriott in Brussels, at the 'Retail Banking in Europe - The Way Forward' Conference of the European Savings Banks Group (ESBG), and afterwards made some statements on the same subject. SHOTLIST